Myanmar says poppy crop down by 60% over 4 years | india | Hindustan Times
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Myanmar says poppy crop down by 60% over 4 years

Myanmar, the world's second-largest grower of opium after Afghanistan, has slashed its poppy cultivation by 60 per cent.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 14:31 IST

Myanmar, the world's second-largest grower of opium after Afghanistan, has slashed its poppy cultivation by 60 per cent over the past four years, a semi-official publication said on Monday.

The Weekly Journal said Myanmar's poppy cultivation stood at 32,770 hectares in 2005, down 60 per cent from 2002, and its opium production also dropped 61 per cent to 319 tons during the same period.

Police Colonel Khan Aung told the journal that Myanmar was working with neighbouring China and India to tackle drug trafficking but said more global cooperation was needed to boost domestic drug prevention and control measures.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its annual survey in November that Myanmar's poppy cultivation had steadily fallen since 1996, when 163,000 hectares was used to grow the illicit crop.

It said the amount of land planted with poppies in Myanmar was just 32,800 hectares in 2005.

The state-run media said last month that Myanmar had arrested 4,754 people in 2005 in connection with drug-related cases and the government seized more than 3.65 million stimulant tablets during the previous year.

Myanmar is among the world's largest producers and traffickers of amphetamine-type stimulants and has said it plans to eradicate production of opium poppies by 2014.